Home Discussion Forum Did Socrates have a profession other than being a philosopher?

Did Socrates have a profession other than being a philosopher?

And if not, how did he make enough of a living if a lot of people dismissed him as a crazy old dreamer?


  1. Philosophy – to see one and all the rest.
    Philosophy is not a profession! My dear.
    You are living in a capitalist professional wolrd. Your classifcation of “professional” is not applicable to all (inlcuding me)

  2. I don’t know about a profession but as a good citizen he took part in 3 military campaigns and apparently was distinguished by his bravery and endurance.. He wrote nothing, founded nothing and had no disciples so I do not know how he made a living. He had a shrewish wife, Xanthippe, maybe she had money and was shrewish because his philosophising didn’t bring in cash…who knows?

  3. Before realizing his philosophical side, Socrates was a stonecutter.
    He soon ditched that however, and was unemployed. He spent his days in town talking to the folk.
    No one’s really sure how his family got on, maybe he had inherited some money from his father, or maybe he had some saved.

  4. He served in the Athenian military in several campaigns, saving the life of Alcibiades, and served as an Athenian Senator.
    But his “divine voice,” or higher Eros (childlike offspring of Poros and Penia, in Plato’s terms), which sought “true doxa” (true opinion) leading unto the Good, termed him an educator and a “midwife” of the Good.
    He presumably earned a living by teaching.
    Actually, he was convicted in later years not as “crazy,” “old,” or “dreamer,” but as a “teacher of the art of argument.” This in turn was a plot, a trumped-up charge, by the terroristic “Thirty” Athenian tyrants, to punish him for his refusal to go, along with other Athenians, to a certain good Athenian man and bring him to a false trial (as the fascistic Thirty were murdering their possible opponents, and wanted to do in this individual). Socrates alone refused to go and commit this crime of false accusation. This was the reason for his unjust trial on irrelevant charges; 280 Athenians went along with the dictatorship; despite the totalitarian pressure and danger, 220 Athenians nevertheless voted for his innocence. No one “dismissed” him; rather, people respected him, as his teaching served to encourage people to realize that their opinions were just that, and often false, misinformed, and so forth. In a real sense, he was demonstrating existential nothingness from an informed or Divine position, much as did Gautama and Confucius, both of whom lived and taught during what Karl Jaspers termed the “axial period” of human awareness.
    Plotinus, in his One Mind Soul-realization, pointed to all human knowing as “doxa,” “opinion,” and worth only inasmuch as it moved toward One Mind Soul-individuation (“this Mind which was also in Christ Jesus”).
    “A Philosophy of Universality,” O. M. Aivanhov, and
    “The Path of the Higher Self,” Mark Prophet, are helpful re topics such as this.

  5. I too I asked my Greek Philosophy professor the question; “How did Socrates make money to live?”
    I am quite sure that he said that Socrates was supported by Plato (and similar people) who set up The Academy.


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